Veterans Day is a week from today. Here are four organizations that work tirelessly to serve, honor and assist soldiers, veterans and military families every day.
- Got Your Six: In partnership with the numerous facets of the entertainment industry, Got Your Six works to “bridge the civilian-military divide,” according to their website. The movement, launched officially this year and named after the military phrase meaning “I’ve got your back”, suggests various ways for people to get involved, from volunteering to talking up the cause, from buying merchandise (the Got Your Six pin is ridiculously popular; I wear one myself) to reading books. Most importantly, Got Your Six advances “6 Pillars”—Jobs, Education, Health(care), Housing, Family, and Leadership—to which we as a nation should commit our efforts as our veterans return home.
- IAVA: The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the “first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans,” according to its website. Anytime there’s an article, report or news story about our newest generation of veterans, you can be sure that IAVA and/or its founding CEO Paul Rieckhoff has a quote. With over 200,000 member veterans, the IAVA, which started in 2004, is a true community of veterans and supporters. A force to be reckoned with, IAVA’s presence is universal, and rightly so. Focusing on healthcare, education and employment (sensing a pattern?), IAVA will stand their ground from veterans’ “first day home through the rest of their lives.”
- USO: Practically requiring no introduction, the USO’s indelible mark on the American consciousness comes in no small part from its core mission: to “lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families,” according to their website. The USO has maintained a decades-old place in the lives of soldiers and their families—from dispatching celebrities to bases all over the world to spearheading numerous programs like care package packing, entertainment for military children and services for families. I think their tagline says it all: “Until Every One Comes Home.”
- Wounded Warrior Project: Dedicated to wounded service members, WWP is committed to empowering the many thousands who have been injured—physically, emotionally and mentally—as they “adjust to their new normal,” according to their website. Serving military personnel who sustained injuries on or after September 11th, WWP uses a “holistic approach” to help them and their families. From helping them cope to job training, wellness events to alumni networking, their efforts are sustained and forever. Because, as WWP says, “The greatest casualty is being forgotten.” No truer words.
As Veterans Day approaches, it’s important to remember that every day is really the day to celebrate, remember and help those who fought for us. For more information on these organizations, visit their websites or find them on Twitter and Facebook.
Want to highlight any other organizations fighting for our veterans? Leave a comment!